Bettina Mayer, Automotive News Europe, 19th November, 2008
LOS ANGELES — The 500 motorists selected to be part of BMW’s electric Mini test program in the US will pay a monthly leasing rate of $850 (about €1070). A BMW spokesman told Automotive News Europe at a media event here that the rate covers all expenses including special insurance for the vehicle. The test drivers will have to take their cars for service checks at one of eight selected dealerships after every 3000km.
The Mini E is being shown here at the Los Angeles auto show as a concept car. It is part of BMW’s Project i, an initiative to develop a low-emissions city car that could become a fourth brand.
Mini is currently seeking the 500 drivers in the US states of California, New York and New Jersey to lease the car. Because the car requires special technicians, BMW decided to focus on just these three states. Eight dealers with specially trained technicians will service the electrical components.
Mini is currently seeking the 500 drivers in the US states of California, New York and New Jersey to lease the car.
The Mini E has a lithium-ion battery powering an electric motor with 204bhp. The car initially will offer just two seats because the rear passenger space is needed for the battery. The Mini E achieves a driving distance of around 160-200km according to BMW development chief Klaus Draeger.
The electric Minis are being built at the carmaker’s factory in Oxford, England, without engines, transmissions or fuel tanks. They are then shipped to Munich, where they are equipped with the electric motor, battery units, performance electronics and transmission drive components.
BMW declines to say whether the E concept will become a volume production vehicle.
[Source: Automotive News Europe]
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